WINDHOEK - Elso Holdings, a 100 percent Namibian-owned manufacturer of biodegradable toxic-free cleaning products, paper and cleaning equipment, says it is investing millions of dollars over the next three to five years in the expansion of its production facilities in Namibia as it aims to serve the Namibian market and eyes both regional and other international destinations.
An integral aspect of Elso’s expansion plan is a new manufacturing facility in which Elso Holdings’ CEO, Hilton Loring, says is in the final preparation stage with funding and land already identified.
“We are investing substantial amounts of money, amounting to millions of dollars, in expanding this business. What the business requires for expansion is capability and capacity to compete with bigger players in the market and to serve both the local market and neighbouring countries,” said Loring during an exclusive interview with New Era.
He added that a regional focus for Elso includes markets such as Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where access negotiations are progressing well, as well as South Africa where negotiations are at an advanced stage. Loring emphasised the attractiveness of a regional focus, which he said could be achieved by maximising Namibia’s geographic expansion opportunities.
Elso Holdings has been active in the Namibian market since 1956 when it initially produced soap from elephant fat. In fact, the name Elso is a combination of ‘elephant’ and ‘soap’. Loring describes Elso as one of the oldest, environmentally conscious cleaning companies in Namibia that commands a leading market share in the country today.
Elso also boasts sales branches throughout Namibia, with over 140 full-time employees and over 700 different products on sale. Elso is fully integrated from a production, logistics, sales and merchandising perspective.
The company recently secured a major investment partner in EOS Capital, a private equity fund manager, through its Allegrow Fund. EOS Capital’s multi-million-dollar Allegrow Fund’s mandate is investing in companies which have the potential for rapid growth through the right capital and strategic support.
Elso also recently increased its environmental responsibility by offering customers the option of refilling containers with its cleaning products to curb wastage and save money. Four of Elso’s factory outlets around the country offer this convenient, affordable and environmentally friendly service. Large industrial-sized refilling stations, filled with Elso’s cleaning products are used to refill normal consumer-sized bottles. This refilling option is available in our factory outlets in Oshakati, Walvis Bay; Windhoek and Swakopmund.
Loring concluded that besides being ISO 2015 accredited, Elso is working on achieving European Union accreditation. His reasoning is that EU accreditation entails strict environmental regulations that would require a world-class facility and this would mean increased access to world-class markets.